I've been going to the gym at some odd times lately. This is in part because I feel I'm at an interesting point in my life, where I can go to the gym at, say 11 a.m. on a Wednesday, so why not? My schedule varies, and I have strange periods of free time in the middle of the day. Despite the fact that I'm trying very hard to enjoy this (for instance, by going to the gym when it's less crowded and attempting to revel in how great that is - "I can do whatever I want whenever I want!") I've discovered that it's just not me, it makes me feel weird, and even if I spend the rest of my life doing things like freelancing for newspapers and picking up the odd work where I can get it, I'm really best suited to a normal-person schedule. 9-5, really. Boring, I know. But growing up sometimes means accepting the boring old truth. Like accepting that I really like to go to bed early. That too much dairy sort of makes my stomach hurt. That I'm never going to make the Broadway cast of any musical, because, let's face it, I'm just not talented in that way. One thing I do like, however, about going to the gym in the middle of the day, besides it being much less crowded than the early morning or right after work, is that things in general are more relaxed. People change the television stations without asking anybody, for example, because no one really cares. No one is missing the morning or evening news. And really, it's slim pickings on television midday. So whatever goes.
Today I was on the elliptical, listening to some 80s music I'd uploaded to my iPod and wondering if anyone could tell that I was kicking my endorphins into gear with the help of a-ha's hit song "Take On Me," and hoping they couldn't, because I wanted them to think I was cooler than that. I was glancing at the TVs up against the far wall from time to time, making sure I wasn't missing anything good, when I noticed that a tiny little Asian lady using the treadmill had switched one set to Lifetime, and that on Lifetime at this particular hour was a movie, some typical Lifetime movie (a.k.a. an awesome movie that I could easily spend two or three hours getting totally into) but that in this particular made-for-tv movie some lucky woman was about to have sex, and in order to get this point across very clearly, the producers of the film had provided the audience with a close up of her un-zipping her jeans, and then cut to a scene with the woman and her boyfriend (and if I know Lifetime, he was probably going to kill her later) in bed. You know, doing it. You couldn't see anything vital, of course, but they were clearly doing it. And I know that that's totally normal now-a-days, suggested sex on the small screen, but this was pretty intense. And then I looked around and realized that I was watching it with a bunch of other people, just working out, who had been minding their own business, but were suddenly watching a sex scene together, and that's why Lifetime is dangerous - because you think it's totally fine to turn it on whenever, I mean, TV for women? Sounds safe to me. But then all of a sudden you're watching an almost-soft porn movie with a room full of strangers.